Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are the Middle East uprisings truly grassroots, or the result of outside manipulation?

It's late February 2011 and the last month or so has been amazing. A popular uprising in Tunisia inspired people in other Middle East countries to also rise up and shake off the dominating power structures that have run their countries for decades. The Middle East power structures were put in place by European powers during the decolonization of most of the world. But what happened is most of the countries were being ruled by dictator-like people who tended to stay in power for decades at a time and use iron fists against their people. True representational democracy is far from the norm in these countries. Hence it's been amazing to witness change occur.

It looks like an honest populist uprising. But is it, really?

Secret Report Ordered by Obama Identified Potential Uprisings - Details a top-secret report resulting from a Presidential Study Directive ordered by President Obama. It's said to cover unrest in the Arab world. It concluded that "without sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were ripe for popular revolt." The Directive was meant to look for ways to "push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States".

The U.S. and other Western powers have alliances with many of these autocratically run countries. At the moment of this writing Libya is using overwhelming brutal force to "suppress" the rebellion in its country, and primarily the weapons used in this suppression are American-made. Likewise the weapons owned by the Egyptian military are American-made. Likewise the ones owned by the Bahrain military, etc. Further the military leaders in each country routinely visit American military for training and consultation. This is just like how the American military gave training to Latin America dictatorial regimes, who then went on to brutally suppress revolts in their respective countries etc. American aid means sales of American-made weapons means training with American military and somehow America tries to avoid responsibility when those military forces use brutality against their citizens?

NY Times: "Officials said Mr. Obama’s support for the crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo, even if it followed some mixed signals by his administration, reflected his belief that there was a greater risk in not pushing for changes because Arab leaders would have to resort to ever more brutal methods to keep the lid on dissent." In other words, they're balancing the brutality of American allies against the desire to preserve stability.

The article also described the Yemen situation as "the administration’s intense focus on counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda was ignoring a budding political crisis, as angry young people rebelled against President Ali Abdullah Saleh"

The article concluded with saying Obama has urged advisers to study "popular uprisings" in other countries and see "which ones worked and which did not".

There's quite a bit of interpretationality behind the best way to understand this. Was Obama urging advisers to study uprisings so they can better implement a wave of uprisings today? The Elite Powers have a history of engineering what looks like popular uprisings, so it's not out of the bounds of credibility to think that the current set of uprisings were also engineered.

Also what definitions of "work" or "didn't work" are they using? We The People might want to define "work" as the country in question establishes a proper open democracy that's peaceful and has a wide range of opinion, debate, discussion, plenty of freedoms, etc. But does the U.S. Administration, as an arm of the Global Elite, have the same goal in mind? Or is the goal to ensure the governing structure is compliant with the Global Elite and doesn't allow for dissent and turmoil, to reduce risk to the Global Elite?

UPDATE: The above reads as if I'm thinking its U.S. manipulation causing these uprising. It may be Iranian manipulation: Are Middle East uprisings due to meddling by Iran? (Rather than Western Meddling?)